‘We believe in you’: Mahomes, Kelce connection key in overtime win over Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 16: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after scoring a pass play for a touchdown in overtime to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 34-28 in a game at SoFi Stadium on December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — The Kansas City Chiefs won a nail-biting overtime game against AFC West rivals the Los Angeles Chargers and it came off the backs of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.

The quarterback and tight end tandem provided two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime to first tie the game, then to go ahead and win it.

“That was a special moment just in general. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a walk-off touchdown or anything like that. So, to be in that moment, find him underneath and him making such a dynamic play where he cut back, ran by people,” Mahomes said. “You’d think he’s old, so he can’t run by people, but he’s still running by people and he got in the end zone. It was just a special moment and I’m glad that all that hard work that he puts in every single day is paying off.”

Kelce, who turned 32 this year, finished the game with 191 yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches.

After a week 10 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, Kelce famously quoted, “I guess I got my swagger back,” but he only hauled in 128 yards combined in the three games in between then and Thursday night.

His explosive performance makes him the first tight end in NFL history to surpass the 1,000 yard receiving mark in six straight seasons.

“If that guy loses his swagger, then I don’t know what swagger is,” Mahomes said. “He has that swag at all times. Like we’ve said, he’s gotten double-teamed and tackled off the line of scrimmage for the last few years, but especially this year.”

As dominant as the All-Pro tight end was on the field, his impact on the sideline was just as important for the success of Mahomes and the Chiefs.

“He was the first guy that came up to me after the interception that was just like, ‘Hey, let’s show that heart. Get back out there, we believe in you.’ I mean it seems like he’s always that guy for everybody. I mean he has a true belief in every single person on this team. We feed off that energy that he brings every single day,” Mahomes said.

“All I can do in a situation like that is be supportive, bring the energy, let him know that we still got 9 minutes left in this game to try and find a way to score and find a way to win this ball game,” Kelce said.

The duo shared an embrace after the game winning touchdown in overtime that extends the Chiefs winning streak to 7. The win over their AFC West rivals also extends their lead over the Chargers for the division title.

“Through all the criticism that he’s had this year, we find ourselves winning our seventh game in a row,” Kelce said. “That’s just him leading us and nonstop every single week, every single play of every single game, putting the team on his shoulders and trying to find a way to win.”

The Chiefs will now have an extended rest before returning to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for their last home game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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